NJ cities make ready for potential heat wave. Here’s how to avoid heat-related illnesses

According to the National Weather Service, a heat wave is a period of abnormally hot weather usually above 90 degrees, that lasts more than two days.

Amanda Eustice

Jun 16, 2024, 9:40 PM

Updated 33 days ago

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Nathalie Rozo from Queens, New York took in the view Sunday from the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park – soaking in the perfect weather before a potential heat wave arrives this week.
"Not going outside through the middle of the week... definitely not,” she said. “It's going to be like almost 95, 100 and it's going to be horrible to go outside, but today is a beautiful day.”
According to the National Weather Service, a heat wave is a period of abnormally hot weather usually above 90 degrees, that lasts more than two days. In the Northeast, a heat wave is defined as three straight days in the 90s or above.
Health officials say they can be dangerous if not deadly if you're not prepared.
Experts with RWJ Barnabas Health say there are several things you can do to stay cool and avoid heat-related illnesses.
  • Drinking plenty of liquids (If you wait until you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated)
  • Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
  • When outdoors stay in the shade
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Take cool baths or showers.
  • Dress appropriately- (wear light, loose-fitting clothing, hats or even sunglasses.)
  • Avoid hot foods and heavy meals
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas
Dr. Eric Handler, the chairman of emergency medicine at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, says the next couple of days will be a challenge as people get used to the heat.
"We’re going from relatively moderate temperatures to these higher temperatures – people’s bodies have not had enough time to acclimate, so this is really the first big heat of the season," said Dr. Handler.
Paterson city officials say several libraries and senior centers will open their doors to help people stay cool.
Health officials are also reminding people not to leave pets or people inside a car without the air conditioner on. They also say to check in on loved ones frequently.


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